MIAMI – At BYU, they’re looking to restore tradition. At Memphis, they’re simply looking to build one.
Their paths will align in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.
BYU (8-4) completes its up-and-down campaign on today against Memphis (9-3), one of the nation’s surprise teams this year after finishing in a three-way tie atop the American Athletic Conference despite being picked to finish in the bottom half of that league entering the season.
The Cougars climbed to as high as No. 18 in the AP Top 25 at one point this season, then lost four straight games, then rebounded to win their last four. Memphis will finish with a winning record for the first time in seven years and is one win shy of reaching double-digits in that department for the first time since 1938.
“There has been a sense of urgency since midway through the season,” BYU linebacker Michael Alisa said. “We are riding a wave of momentum right now. The only way we want to finish the season is with a win. I think our attitude is more focused than last year.”
Memphis can say the same. The Tigers’ entire program seems to be on a major upswing.
Whether it was the share of the league title, giving coach Justin Fuente a five-year extension as a reward or just generating a positive buzz for the first time in years, Memphis’ season has already been a success by any measure.
A bowl win would only add to the storybook year.
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